Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Veteran’s Day re-post: Navy SEAL Michael Murphy awarded Medal of Honor

Navy SEAL Michael Murphy wins Medal of Honor

Navy SEAL Michael Murphy wins Medal of Honor

For Veteran’s Day, I am re-posting one of my favorite Medal of Honor stories.

The Washington Examiner reports on the story of a brave Navy SEAL named Michael Murphy.

Excerpt:

Engaged in a frenzied firefight and outnumbered by the Taliban, Navy Lt. Michael Murphy made a desperate decision as he and three fellow SEALs fought for their lives on a rocky mountainside in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province in 2005.

In a last-ditch effort to save his team, Murphy pulled out his satellite phone, walked into a clearing to get reception and called for reinforcements as a fusillade of bullets ricocheted around him. One of the bullets hit him, but he finished the call and even signed off, “Thank you.”

Then he continued the battle.

Dan Murphy, the sailor’s father, said it didn’t surprise him that his slain son nicknamed “The Protector” put himself in harm’s way. Nor was he surprised that in the heat of combat his son was courteous.

“That was Michael. He was cool under fire. He had the ability to process information, even under the most difficult of circumstances. That’s what made him such a good SEAL officer,” Murphy said.

A warship bearing the name of the Medal of Honor recipient will be christened Saturday — on what would have been Murphy’s 35th birthday — at Bath Iron Works, where the destroyer is being built.

Murphy, who was 29 when he died, graduated from Pennsylvania State University and was accepted to multiple law schools, but decided he could do more for his country as one of the Navy’s elite SEALS — special forces trained to fight on sea, air and land — the same forces that killed Osama bin Laden this week in Pakistan.

[...]Murphy, of Patchogue, N.Y., earned his nickname after getting suspended in elementary school for fighting with bullies who tried to stuff a special-needs child into a locker and for intervening when some youths were picking on a homeless man, said Dan Murphy, a lawyer, former prosecutor and Army veteran who served in Vietnam.

Maureen Murphy said he thought he was too young to take a desk job as a lawyer. Instead, he went to officer candidate school, the first step on his journey to become a SEAL officer. He was in training during the Sept. 11 attacks, which shaped his views.

His view was that there are “bullies in the world and people who’re oppressed in the world. And he said, ‘Sometimes they have to be taken care of,'” she said.

On June 28, 2005, the day he was killed, Murphy was leading a SEAL team in northeastern Afghanistan looking for the commander of a group of insurgents known as the Mountain Tigers.

What happened to Murphy?

The Operation Red Wings reconnaissance team rappelled down from a helicopter at night and climbed through rain to a spot 10,000 feet high overlooking a village to keep a lookout. But the mission was compromised the following morning when three local goat herders happened upon their hiding spot.

High in the Hindu Kush mountains, Murphy and Petty Officers Marcus Luttrell of Huntsville, Texas; Matthew Axelson of Cupertino, Calif.; and Danny Dietz of Littleton, Colo.; held a tense discussion of the rules of engagement and the fate of the three goat herders, who were being held at gunpoint.

If they were Taliban sympathizers, then letting the herders go would allow them to alert the Taliban forces lurking in the area; killing them might ensure the team’s safety, but there were issues of possible military charges and a media backlash, according to Luttrell, the lone survivor.

Murphy, who favored letting the goat herders go, guided a discussion of military, political, safety and moral implications. A majority agreed with him.

An hour after the herders were released, more than 100 Taliban armed with AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades opened fire, attacking from higher elevation, and maneuvering to outflank the SEALs, said Gary Williams, author of “Seal of Honor,” a biography of Murphy.

[...]As the only survivor, Luttrell has pangs of regret for voting to go along with Murphy, his best friend; he now believes the team could’ve survived if the goat herders were killed.

He wasn’t willing to kill unarmed civilians. That’s the difference between the United States and the Muslim terrorists. It’s a moral difference. Michael Murphy was a good man. He used guns and violence to protect others, and he was not willing to kill unarmed civilians.

Here are the requirements for the Army version of the Medal of Honor:

The Medal of Honor is awarded by the President in the name of Congress to a person who, while a member of the Army, distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The deed performed must have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life. Incontestable proof of the performance of the service will be exacted and each recommendation for the award of this decoration will be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.

I once read an entire book on Medal of Honor award winners in World War II. It’s hard to read those stories, because these people who won the award did amazing acts of bravery, courage and self-sacrifice, but then most of them DIED. The stories almost always end in sadness and grief. Here’s the one that really stuck with me as an example.

On a happier note, what kind of ship do you think would suit Michael Murphy?

 USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 Arleigh Burke

USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 Arleigh Burke

Michael Murphy is getting a brand new Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyer! Arleigh Burke vessels have the AEGIS missile defense system and their role is to protect carrier strike groups from incoming SSMs and ASMs.

Excerpt:

The Arleigh Burke Class destroyers are equipped with the Aegis combat system which integrates the ship’s sensors and weapons systems to engage anti-ship missile threats.

The Aegis system has a federated architecture with four subsystems – AN/SPY-1 multifunction radar, command and decision system (CDS), Aegis display system (ADS) and the weapon control system (WCS). The CDS receives data from ship and external sensors via satellite communications and provides command, control and threat assessment. The WCS receives engagement instruction from the CDS, selects weapons and interfaces with the weapon fire control systems.

[...]Lockheed Martin is developing the Aegis ballistic missile defence (BMD) capability for the Aegis combat system to engage ballistic missiles with the SM-3 missile. 15 Arleigh Burke destroyers have been fitted with the Aegis BMD system, which provides the capability for long-range surveillance, tracking and engagement of short and medium-range ballistic missiles. The system received US Navy certification for full deployment in September 2006. Work was completed on the 15 destroyers at the end of 2008 and the vessels, with three Ticonderoga cruisers, form the Aegis BMD fleet. On 30 July 2009 the Aegis BMD system was successfully tested by the US Navy on the USS Hopper (DDG 70).Aegis BMD is the main sea-based component of the US ballistic missile defence system.

The weapons control systems include a SWG-1A for Harpoon, SWG-3 for Tomahawk, mk99 mod 3 missile fire control system, GWS34 mod 0 gun fire control system and mk116 mod 7 fire control system for anti-submarine systems.

Only two classes of warships that I know of have the AEGIS system. The DDG Arleigh Burke and the CG Ticonderoga.

Michael Murphy was a real hero. It makes me sad that he is gone. But his spirit will live on in the new warship that bears his name.

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CNN: Obama administration bullying insurance companies to not criticize Obamacare

From the (normally) radically leftist CNN, of all places.

Excerpt:

White House officials have pressured insurance industry executives to keep quiet amid mounting criticism over Obamacare’s rollout, insurance industry sources told CNN.

After insurance officials publicly criticized the implementation, White House staffers contacted insurers to express their displeasure, industry insiders said.

Multiple sources declined to speak publicly about the push back because they fear retribution.

But Bob Laszewski, who heads a consulting firm for big insurance companies, did talk on the record.

“The White House is exerting massive pressure on the industry, including the trade associations, to keep quiet,” he said.

Laszewski, who’s been a vocal critic of Obamacare, said he’s been asked by insurance executives to speak out because they feel defenseless against an administration that is regulating their business — and a big customer.

[...]Insurers, he said, warned the White House that the regulations would lead to discontinued policies.

“One of the things I think is clear here is the Obama administration has no trust in anything the health insurance industry is telling them about how to run a health plan,” Laszewski said.

Newsbusters has the video and transcript from CNN.

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Two girls charged with aggravated stalking after 12-year old victim commits suicide

From the NY Daily News.

Excerpt:

Guadalupe Shaw, 14, and another girl were charged with felony aggravated stalking in the suicide death of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, who jumped off a tower last month. Sedwick’s tormentors were relentless in their bullying, police said, and Shaw even wrote a heartless message on Facebook after the girl died.

[...]Sedwick was bullied relentlessly for several months before she jumped to her death from a tower at a nearby abandoned concrete plant in Lakeland, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.

The 14-year-old, identified as Guadalupe Shaw, reportedly posted a coldhearted message on Facebook after Sedwick’s suicide — prompting cops to arrest her.

The implicating post said, “Yes ik [I know] I bullied Rebecca nd she killed her self but IDGAF [I don't give a (expletive)].”

As many as 15 girls “terrorized” Sedwick for several months with messages such as “You should die” and “Why don’t you go kill yourself,” but Shaw and a 12-year-old girl are the only ones that have been charged so far. The sheriff’s office released the name of the 12-year-old, but it is the Daily News’ policy not to identify minors.

“Detectives have determined that on Sept. 10, 2013, Rebecca Sedwick committed suicide by jumping from a concrete silo tower to her death, and that the malicious harassment by (the 12-year-old girl) and Shaw was likely a contributing factor in Rebecca’s decision to commit suicide,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Witnesses told investigators that Shaw harassed Sedwick by calling her ugly, told her to “drink bleach and die,” and suggested that she should kill herself. Shaw’s animosity may have stemmed from the fact that a boyfriend of hers had previously dated Sedwick.

I always thought that only boys could be bullies, and not girls, so I find this story surprising. However, it does sort of make sense since studies have shown that women commit domestic violence at almost the same rates as men do. Let’s take a look at those studies.

Studies on domestic violence

Let’s see what’s happening with domestic violence rates in the UK.

Excerpt:

Data from Home Office statistical bulletins and the British Crime Survey show that men made up about 40% of domestic violence victims each year between 2004-05 and 2008-09, the last year for which figures are available. In 2006-07 men made up 43.4% of all those who had suffered partner abuse in the previous year, which rose to 45.5% in 2007-08 but fell to 37.7% in 2008-09.

Similar or slightly larger numbers of men were subjected to severe force in an incident with their partner, according to the same documents. The figure stood at 48.6% in 2006-07, 48.3% the next year and 37.5% in 2008-09, Home Office statistics show.

The 2008-09 bulletin states: “More than one in four women (28%) and around one in six men (16%) had experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16. These figures are equivalent to an estimated 4.5 million female victims of domestic abuse and 2.6 million male victims.”

In addition, “6% of women and 4% of men reported having experienced domestic abuse in the past year, equivalent to an estimated one million female victims of domestic abuse and 600,000 male victims”.

And the numbers from the government of Canada are the same.

Canada numbers:

An estimated 7% of women and 6% of men in a current or previous spousal relationship encountered spousal violence during the five years up to and including 2004, according to a comprehensive new report on family violence.

So it’s pretty even. Women are about as likely to commit violence as men are. And in lesbian relationships, the rate of domestic violence is extremely high, from 17% to 45%, depending on the study. I think in general, women are more violent when there is no man present, because they have more difficulty restraining their emotions and resolving disagreements with rational arguments instead of fist, feet and weapons. It would be interesting to know more about which of the girls in the Florida stalking story – predators and prey – had fathers in the home. I think that the presence of fathers would have helped everyone concerned. Fathers are a stabilizing influence in the home.

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Gay activists pressure D.C. mayor to remove ex-gay singer from MLK memorial concert

From Life Site News, a story about one of the most Democrat cities in America, and its Democrat mayor. (H/T Mysterious WG)

Excerpt:

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray admitted Monday that he made the final decision to remove gospel singer Donnie McClurkin from the lineup of performers at a city-sponsored concert held Saturday at the Martin Luther King memorial in respond to complaints by gay activists.

McClurkin was to have been a headline performer at the event , called “Reflections on Peace: Ghandi to King,” which marked the beginning of a planned series of events to commemorate King’s life during the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

But on Friday, several homosexual activists contacted the mayor’s office to complain about McClurkin’s inclusion in the show because the gospel singer is a vocal ex-gay who believes homosexuality is a “curse” which can be overcome through prayer and determination.  They threatened to protest the event if he was allowed to perform.  Soon after, it was announced that McClurkin would no longer be part of the program.

Initially, the mayor’s office claimed McClurkin had volunteered to step aside.  “The Arts and Humanities Commission and Donnie McClurkin’s management decided that it would be best for him to withdraw because the purpose of the event is to bring people together,” said Gray’s spokeswoman, Doxie McCoy. “Mayor Gray said the purpose of the event is to promote peace and harmony. That is what King was all about.”

But on Saturday, McClurkin posted a video to social media claiming there was nothing mutual about the decision, and that the mayor’s office told him not to come.

On Monday, Gray confirmed McClurkin’s account, telling the Washington Post, “This was an issue involving a potential controversy at an event that was going to focus on harmony and peace, and we just didn’t think that was appropriate for this event.”

McClurkin said the decision was made to placate a group of 15-20 homosexual activists.  “Fifteen or twenty people,” the gospel singer said, shaking his head, “compared to thousands upon thousands who were coming out to worship Jesus.”

Well, to be fair, gay activists and their allies in the Democrat Party aren’t really keen on worshipping Jesus, either. And not shy about preventing others from doing so.

This is not the first time former homosexuals have been subjected to campaigns of intimidation by gay activists in the nation’s capital.

The kickoff event for the first-ever “Ex-Gay Pride Month,” scheduled to be held at Family Research Council headquarters in D.C., was postponed last month after threats of protests and violence by gay activists.

And in 2007, at a county fair in the nearby suburb of Arlington, angry homosexual activists harassed and assaulted a group of ex-gays and members of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) at their fair booth.

Last year, a metro Washington school district was sued by PFOX after the superintendent publicly told students that the group’s flyers offering information on unwanted same-sex attraction and urging tolerance for those who leave the homosexual lifestyle were “reprehensible and deplorable” and labeled their contention that sexual orientation can be changed “a really, really disgusting message.”

In 2008, an American Psychological Association symposium on the role of religion in homosexual therapy to be held at the Washington Convention Center was canceled under pressure from gay activists who worried the panel might lend credibility the notion that individuals can overcome their homosexual inclinations, either through reparative therapy or other means.

“Conservatives … were going to use this event to draw credibility to the so-called reparative therapy movement,” Gene Robinson, the openly homosexual then-bishop of the Episcopal Church told the Washington Blade gay news outlet at the time, taking partial credit for the symposium’s cancellation. “It became clear to me in the last couple of weeks that just my showing up and letting this event happen…lends credibility to that so-called therapy.”

On Capitol Hill, some Democratic legislators have called for an outright ban on such therapies.  One California congresswoman introduced a resolution in the last session of Congress called “Stop Harming Our Kids” that condemns therapies aimed at changing sexual orientation, and urges states to introduce laws banning their use with minors.

So who is right about reparative therapy and ex-gay people? Let’s look at the peer-reviewed science.

This study was done by Otago University in New Zealand.

Excerpt:

Otago University researcher associate professor Elisabeth Wells has looked at the connection between adverse childhood events and sexuality and found those who experienced trauma were significantly more likely to be non-heterosexual.

The study used results from the New Zealand Mental Health Survey, which surveyed almost 13,000 people aged over 16 between 2003 and 2004.

Participants were asked whether they thought of themselves as bisexual, heterosexual or homosexual and if they had same-sex sexual experiences or relationships.

Less than one per cent of people identified themselves as homosexual, but three per cent had a same-sex encounter.

Wells said the more “adverse events” experienced in childhood – including sexual assault, rape and domestic violence – the more likely the person identified with one of the non-exclusively heterosexual groups.

She said most people from disturbed backgrounds were heterosexual.

However, the study showed a clear relationship between negative events in childhood and homosexual or bisexual relationships later in life.

I actually studied the issue of what causes homosexuality and whether it can be repaired using therapy a while back using books by medical doctors like Jeffrey Satinover and Joseph Nicolosi. (Nicolosi’s new book is here) It turns out that there are some genetic factors that make homosexuality more likely, but the real causes are environmental, e.g. – sexual abuse during childhood or failure to bond emotionally with the same-sex parent.

I wonder how many people actually go after the research when forming their opinions on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage? I always head straight for the research and debates. I think that my opponents prefer personal attacks and speech codes!

Comments to this post will be strictly filtered to stay clear of Obama’s laws restricting free speech on controversial issues.

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Two Christian preachers brutally beaten at Seattle Gay Pride Festival

Warning: the video above has extremely coarse language and violence.

Fox News reports.

Excerpt:

Two street preachers were brutally beaten — punched and kicked — by a crowd at a gay pride festival in Seattle and the entire melee was captured on video.

The preachers were holding signs reading “Repent or Else” and “Jesus Saves From Sin.” The video shows a group of people initially screaming and threatening the men during Pridefest at the Seattle Space Needle.

Television station KOMO reported that some of the attackers belonged to a group called NOH8

A group of women tried to steal their signs but were unsuccessful. The video then shows a group of men grabbing onto one of the preacher’s signs and dragging him to the ground. At some point he was punched in the back of the head a number of times while others can be seen kicking the man.

Another preacher was sucker punched in the back of the head.

Police arrested two suspects – one of whom has a long rap sheet.

Now the first thing to say, obviously, is that the two Christians are going about their opposition to homosexuality in a wrong way. I don’t think that it is a Biblical approach to expect non-Christians to accept Christian morality because of what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 5:9-12. If you want to disagree about homosexuality or same-sex marriage with a non-Christian, then you’ll have to go outside the Bible and use evidence that is compelling to a non-Christian. And that’s what I always do in my blog posts because my audience is non-Christians. So that’s the first thing that needs to be said. There is a right way to argue against homosexuality with non-Christians, and these Christians were not doing it. The right way to discuss homosexuality is by using data found in books like “Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth” and “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality“. And the right context for presenting this data is probably in written work or in the context of a relationship with the other person. Not holding up signs with flames on it to strangers.

My sexual orientation

Now the point I want to make about this is that I have a sexual orientation, too. My sexual orientation is pre-marital virginity, pre-marital chastity and lifelong faithful married love (if I get married). Now I don’t need to have a parade or get all kinds of government recognition and financial benefits in order to make me feel good about what I’m doing. In fact, even if someone puts down my virginity and chastity, I wouldn’t really care. In fact, the number one place where my sexual orientation is looked down on is in the church. In church, there is a whole group of people who are enamored of compassion and they are opposed to having any boundaries on sex at all, regardless of the harm it causes with things like abortion, divorce, fatherlessness and so on. Their idea is that people should be able to have sex if they are in love, and that they shouldn’t be “shamed” or “judged” for doing so. However, I don’t attack them and violently beat them up just because they disagree with me on my sexual orientation. I just let them say what they are going to say and mind my own business. I don’t need anyone to tell me that what I am doing is right. I have reasons and evidence showing me that my view is right, like the peer-reviewed papers that show that premarital sex causes lower quality and stability in marriage. I know what I’m doing, and disagreement doesn’t bother me.

Anti-chastity people could even hold up signs in front of my house saying “Repent of your chastity, evil virgin, or burn in Hell!” and it still wouldn’t bother me. And that’s because I know that what I believe causes no harm to anyone. It doesn’t impose social costs on others because I need special drugs or health care for my chastity. It doesn’t cause me to make other people sick. It doesn’t break up marriages so I can go off with someone else. It doesn’t leave children fatherless or motherless. It doesn’t expose born or unborn children to harm from strangers. It doesn’t require public schools to teach young people how great my virginity and chastity is. It doesn’t require new school lessons telling everyone the contributions that virgins have made in history. It doesn’t require the Supreme Court to force people to affirm chastity. It doesn’t require anyone to be fired because they disagree with me on premarital sex. It doesn’t require other people to have their freedom of speech or freedom of religion limited so that I can avoid feeling “offended” by what they say and do.

So in conclusion then, I don’t respond with anger, vandalism, coercion or violence when people disagree with me about being a virgin and embracing chastity before marriage.

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